Summertime gives us the perfect opportunity to head away on vacation to enjoy the warm weather. What makes these trips even more relaxing is the peace of mind from knowing everything is fine at home.

Following a few summer air conditioning and plumbing planning and maintenance tips can go a long way. Here are a few summer plumbing tips to keep your home catastrophe-free during your vacation.

Shut off the main water supply – Start by checking for potential plumbing leaks to make sure there aren’t any obvious risks. Next, turn off the main water supply to the house. That way, even if you didn’t spot a leak or if a new one forms, you’ll limit the amount of damage it could cause. The main shut-off valve can be found next to the water meter in the majority of homes. You may be able to turn it by hand or you may require a wrench. If you’re not sure how, please call us to help.

Turn off water-related systemsWith your main water supply turned off, you may as well turn off connected systems. Shut off the automatic ice maker in your freezer, for example. You can also shut down your water softening system and lawn irrigation system until the plumbing is turned on again.

Shut down your hot water heater – If you’re not going to be using the hot water for a while, you may as well turn it off. If you’ve cut off the water supply to your house, this is even more important. Problems could arise if there are any leaks you haven’t noticed. Heating a dry tank could burn out the element or increase your risk of fire. Avoid this common plumbing mistake by simply shutting off the hot water heater or turning on the “vacation” setting.

Of course, your air conditioner needs proper attention while you’re on vacation, too. Here are some cool tips…so to speak:

Turn the temperature upSince you’ll be away, your home won’t mind being a little warmer than what you would consider ideal. Turn the thermostat up to 80 degrees or higher.

Install and use a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat will let you set different temperatures for various times of the day. That way, your air conditioner won’t be working overtime at night when it’s cooler outside. The latest thermostat models can be controlled with a smartphone app. These allow you to respond to weather changes and come home to a freshly cooled house.

Change the filterYour air conditioner filter should be changed every month for best results in efficiency and air quality. Don’t forget to change it right before you leave, particularly if you’ll be away for several weeks.

If you are unsure about how to do any of this yourself, please call one of our experts here at McLoughlin Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling.

With these simple summer plumbing and air conditioning tips, you can keep your home free of damage and place your focus where it should be: on enjoying your vacation!